In-house WordPress Development vs WordPress Agency: Which One to Choose

Ticket 5

To be honest, the question of whether to hire a WordPress development agency or an in-house developer is a common one.

If you are not a developer and running a digital business using WordPress website, it can become really difficult to find the right person that can help you fix even the simplest of WordPress issues. But you are not alone facing this dilemma.

The Internet has over 40% of websites based on WordPress and 80% of WordPress website administrators are not developers. So, the dilemma of finding a reliable developer/agency for WordPress development is a problem for everyone.

However, we are going to discuss a simple way to decide if you need an in-house developer or an agency for your WordPress issues.

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But before we discuss that, let’s understand the pros and cons of both.

 WordPress Development Agency

Why Opt for an In-House WordPress Developer?

Here are the best reasons to opt for an in-house WordPress developer for your business.

1. You Need a Complete Custom WordPress Website

Most WordPress based businesses are looking to create a complete custom WordPress website for their business. Since the custom development of a website can take a lot of time and money, it makes sense to hire a developer that can create it from scratch. Another reason for hiring a developer would be because you can customize the website just as you want it. This flexibility will not be available to you when you are hiring a WordPress agency.

2. You Can’t Handle Delays in Development

WordPress agencies are working on multiple projects at a time. So, some delays in meeting the deadlines are completely logical. If you want strict deadlines to be met for your WordPress project, then it is important that you hire WordPress website development experts for your business. WordPress developers will only be working on your project so you can easily task them to adhere to strict deadlines for completing the project on time.

3. You Require Regular Maintenance

If your WordPress website requires regular maintenance during or post-development, then the best way to go about it is to get a WordPress developer in-house. Because if you hire an agency for that, they are going to charge a lot more.

4. You Want Full Control of Development

Similarly, if you are someone who wants to monitor complete site development by themself and don’t want to rely on a third-party agency, then they should go for in-house WordPress development. If they get a WordPress agency, they will not be able to monitor the site development properly on a regular basis.

5. You Require Continuous Communication

Agencies work on projects and usually have a project manager that can work with you. However, you still won’t get the complete flexibility when it comes to in-house WordPress development. To properly communicate with the developer, you will need to hire them in-house. This way they will be able to work on your project and update you about all the work they have done.

6. You are Concerned About Project Confidentiality

In some cases, the WordPress projects are confidential. Digital businesses don’t want to disclose the design of their websites to others. If they get an agency to develop their project, there will be chances that the agency will replicate the same model for another client. So, in such a scenario, it makes sense to hire an in-house developer.
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Why Opt for WordPress Agency for Business?

Here are some of the best reasons why you should go for a WordPress development agency for your business.

1. WordPress Agencies are Cheaper

This is a fact. A WordPress agency will do the project in nearly half the amount than the cost ofWordPress specialists doing the same project.

If you hire a WordPress developer for your website, you will be paying them a monthly retainer. Let’s say you want to create an ecommerce store from scratch, that would be around $10k in total. However, if you hire a developer, they will get $80k for the whole year for its development and maintenance.

So, agencies are a lot cheaper if you are looking for project specific work.

2. You Only Need Developer for Specific Period

If you are looking for someone to create a WordPress project only, then the best option is to go for an agency. Because agencies are great at working on projects. They will complete the project within the deadline and hand it over to you. Since they already have experienced WordPress experts on board, you can expect a professionally developed website/store or anything else you are looking for.

3. You Don’t Want to Micro Manage the Developer

If you are too busy managing your WordPress based business, then you should aim for a development agency. This way you will not have to manage the developer and tell them what they should do on your site. The development agency will take care of all that and you can simply focus on what you are doing best.

4. You are a Small Business Owner

Most small business owners have a limited budget for development of their WordPress project/store. So, it is easy for them to go with a WordPress agency for their project development needs.

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Small business owners don’t even need to retain a developer in-house because they don’t require new feature development on the site. They just need a person that can maintain their website. An agency can do that easily.

5. You Don’t Want Complete Control of Development

You can get a WordPress agency to work on your project if you don’t want complete control of the development. Many digital business owners are too busy working on their products. They don’t have the budget or the time to control every aspect of the development process. So, in such a case, it makes sense to hire a WordPress agency for your business.

6. You are fine with a Replicated WordPress Website

Most WordPress agencies replicate designs they made for a client for another client that is getting their services. So, if you are okay with them replicating those designs for your project, then you should for a WordPress agency.

But with this said, you should know that not every WordPress agency will replicate the design of their previous client for your project. There are many agencies that create design from scratch depending on the service you have opted for and your budget.

When to hire a WordPress Agency?

Agencies as we have already discussed earlier have experts on board. Since they have a full-time job, they are looking for clients that have more money to spend. So, their packages usually start from $500 and above. That being said, if you are looking to get a complete website developed, your best bet would be a WordPress agency.

We have listed some of the reasons why you should go for a WordPress agency and not a freelancer. Here is when to make that choice.

1. When Your Project is Complex

Let’s say you want to create an WooCommerce eCommerce store. The WordPress agency will create a store from scratch including its design, wireframes, programming and development, and launching.

You can even negotiate to get the best price from the WordPress agency. An ecommerce can’t be developed by a WordPress freelancer alone because it is something that requires multiple things.

You would need a great hosting solution that can carry the weight of the ecommerce store. You would also need a great design so that your visitors can get attracted to your ecommerce store. Finally, you would need maintenance of your store in the first few months – if things break or not go according to plan.

2. When You Want End-to-End Involvement

Most clients want end-to-end involvement in their projects. This is something that WordPress freelancers can’t offer because they can’t stay on the phone with their clients and work on the project at the same time. That is where agencies come in. Agencies have a dedicated project manager that is working on the client’s site. he/she keeps the client updated about everything from A to Z that is happening on the website. It makes the client know if everything is going according to plan. Or, if there are necessary changes needed, the client can call for them.

3. When You Want Ongoing Maintenance

If you want post-maintenance development of your WordPress website, you will have to pay a freelancer to do that. But with agencies, you can even negotiate a post-development maintenance plan. This ensures that your project is properly off-the ground without any hiccups. Usually projects of scale like an ecommerce store can have issues during or after launch. If these are custom projects, they can have bugs that are not apparent during quality tests. So, post-development maintenance is needed to fix them. Without a pre-approved maintenance plan, you will have to pay a lot to get your websites fixed. A WordPress agency is your best bet in such situations.

When to hire a WordPress Freelancer?

Good news is that the cost to hire a WordPress freelancer is as low as $20 per hour for your WordPress project. An even better news is that you can hire them from platforms like Guru, Freelancer, Upwork, and various others.

But when hiring a freelancer, make sure that you know what type of work they will be doing for you.

1. When You have a Quick Development Job

We have already discussed that you can’t hire a freelancer for complex WordPress related jobs because not everyone can do them. That is why you need to hire a WordPress developer only when the job is quick or doesn’t require your complete attention.

2. When You Don’t Want to Get Involved

Freelancers are great at fixing issues with WordPress sites, installing and customizing plugins, migrating a website from one host to the other, etc. These are things that don’t require your attention at all times. Moreover, these are some things that WordPress freelancers can do easily.

3. When You Hire Them from a Freelancing Platform

There are too many scams going on around the world and most WordPress freelancers don’t have a reputation like an agency. They are not even registered on b2b ratings and reviews websites so they don’t have a brand value to protect. That’s why when hiring a WordPress freelancer, only hire them from reputed sources like freelancing platforms. Freelancing platforms have an escrow system. So your money is only released to the freelancer when they have completed the work. Or, you can also hire them if someone from your network recommends them. Just don’t hire them from social media or other sources because you can’t trust them.

The answer to this question depends on you. If you are looking for someone who can manage your WordPress website on a regular basis, then you should hire an in-house developer. If you are looking to get a project completed like site customization, theme installation and customization, error removal, plugin customization etc, then go for a WordPress agency because they have experts onboard.

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Updated on: 10 September 2021 |

Nirmal Gyanwali, Director of WP Creative

Nirmal Gyanwali

With over 16 years of experience in the web industry, Nirmal has built websites for a wide variety of businesses; from mom n’ pop shops to some of Australia’s leading brands. Nirmal brings his wealth of experience in managing teams to WP Creative along with his wife, Saba.